What Does The “Bug Man” Look For When He Visits Your Home?

When you’re buying or selling a home in Northern VA, it’s likely you will have a “termite inspection” written in to your contract. That means the “Bug Man” will be making a visit to your home.


So we asked one of our trusted inspectors to tell us what he does when he visits. Here’s what Joe Gallagher from Barrier Home Services had to say:

Q. What will the Termite inspector look for when he performs my inspection?

A. The inspector will be inspecting for the presence of visible wood destroying insect evidence and damage. There are FIVE Wood Destroying Insects (WDI) an inspector is required to report when performing the WDI inspection for settlement.

• Termites
• Carpenter Ants
• Carpenter Bees
• Old House Borers – Wood Borers
• Powder Post Beetles

Q. What are the visible signs of an infestation?

A. Here are some of the types of infestations we have found this year.

TERMITE EVIDENCE: Termites live underground building mud shelter tubes to access and feed on wood. They will enter a home through any tiny crack or expansion joint. Heavy mulch, earth wood contact and excessive moisture or water leakage are all conducive conditions. Termites feed on timber from the middle out. Damaged Timber will appear intact until probed.

CARPENTER ANT EVIDENCE: Carpenter ants do not eat wood but hollow it out to nest within the wood. They are typically attracted to moist or rotting wood but will also infest perfectly sound timbers.

CARPENTER BEE EVIDENCE: Carpenter Bees bore into wood cross grain creating a round entrance hole then turn with the grain and hollow out the wood building egg galleries within. The holes look as if they were drilled into the wood. Saw dust may be found below the timber. Sometimes woodpeckers will peck at the wood exposing the gallery while feeding on the eggs within.

WOOD INFESTING BEETLES, POWDER POST BEETLES and OLD HOUSE BORERS (WOOD BORERS) EVIDENCE: Wood borer beetles lay eggs in wood. They are attracted to moist wood and typically found in crawl space or attic timbers. The larvae causes the damage as they feed on the timber. The damaged gallery with have a powdery frass. Eggs can remain dormant for several years then hatch when conditions are suitable. New homes may also have signs of infestation from infected timber at the lumber yard.

Q. What happens after the inspection is performed?

A. Barrier will prepare a WDI report of findings. If wood destroying insects are found a description and location graph of infected and/or damaged areas will be issued and any corrective treatment and repair will be recommendations to the ordering Agent or client.

Evidence of infestation found?

[X] Yes- If visible evidence of active infestation or damage is found the inspector will make recommendations for corrective measures based on the findings, contract requirements and guidelines for the legal WDI report. Barrier includes a one year- renewable termite guarantee on treatment work performed.

[X] No- If no evidence of Wood destroying insects were found the report will be issued noting no visible evidence of a wood destroying insect infestation was visible at the time of inspection. Due to the biology and behavior of termites Barrier includes a one year renewable termite treatment guarantee as a courtesy for our agents. The Termite guarantee is attached to the report at settlement and issued to the buyer for protection against future termite invasion or the possibility of hidden Termite infestation.

If you have more questions or would like to order a termite inspection – contact Joe Gallagher with Barrier Termite & Pest. Joe.Gallagher@barrierhomeservices.com

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, contact The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975.

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